Keeping momentum with your routine, despite blips

Routines make life easier. They help you stay organised and keep on top of your housework. But when the kids are off school, or you're ill, your routine takes a hit and you (and your household) fall into chaos. The kitchen doesn't get cleaned, the washing mountain grows, and dust piles up. Then when the kids go back to school it's difficult to get back into your routine because there's so much work. There is a way to keep momentum with your routines, despite these blips. Read on to find out how.



Blips in your routine don't make you a bad mum

We all have these blips in our routines. We fall ill, half-term arrives before we're ready for it, or a family member needs our help, and our routine takes a hit. But suffering a blip in your routine does NOT make you a bad mum.


Keeping Momentum With Your Routine, Despite Blips | My son's bedroom is messy all the time!
My youngest's bedroom - a whole day's job!


It took me a long time to realise that I'm not a rubbish mum if I have an untidy house. I used to beat myself up every Monday morning as I looked at my chaotic kitchen. Plates piled high. A laundry mountain to rival Everest. It bothered me that I couldn't keep up with the routine over the weekend and keep the house tidy for my family. Then I realised what that chaos meant.

I was actually prioritising my family over the cleaning! I spent time with my boys and the Hubby rather than doing the cleaning. I enjoyed playing board games, watching our favourite shows, and going out for family days. So why on earth was I beating myself up about being a bad mum? 

Is prioritising your family a bad thing? 
No of course not.

So if you have blips in your routine, and you feel bad for not being a better mum, take a moment to think about what you've spent your time doing. 

The truth is you do an AMAZING job. 



Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.

William Arthur Ward



You can always get back on track with your routine

The blips can throw your routine and then you have to spend extra time on your chores. But you can always get back on track. Spending a little extra time each day will get your routine back on track and come the weekend you'll be back to normal again - just in time for the weekend with your family!


Keeping Momentum With Your Routine, Despite Blips | Having fun with your family is more important than your routine.
Family fun - much more important than sticking to a routine.


I spend the week catching up on and take the weekend for the family - then I'm back to where I started on Monday. But that's okay.


Keeping momentum with your routine

The key to keeping momentum with your routine is to do chores a little at a time, more often. I have a giant list of chores, but I never try to do them all at once - that would be overwhelming and I'd give up. Instead I break down the list into smaller chunks so the chores are easier to tackle. 

In a morning, after the kids have gone to school (or while they're getting ready), I'll wander around the house collecting dirty dishes. It usually takes less than 10 minutes.

Keeping Momentum With Your Routine, Despite Blips | A tidy lounge makes me feel so much better!
Tidying the lounge takes much less time if I do it a little bit at a time.


The laundry is another task. Loading the laundry into the machine takes 5 minutes and then I can leave the machine to do its job. This one I save until the kids have left for school. Another job done.

Cleaning the kitchen counters is next on the list, and depending on the day it can take anywhere between 5 and 15 minutes. Once it's done I smile because my kitchen looks great.

I do these small jobs almost every day (not counting weekends) and manage to keep momentum with my routine because the chores don't build up too much over the weekend. 


Use checklists to keep momentum

Whether it's paper, something stuck to your fridge, or reminders on your phone, using checklists to help you keep track of your chores is a great way to keep momentum with your routine. List all the jobs you do every day. Each time you finish one, tick it off. Not only does it feel good ticking off a chore but you can see you're making progress every day. And when you're a stay-at-home mum any kind of progress makes you feel better.

I use reminders on my phone. I have a list of chores I do daily, weekly, and monthly, and they pop up regularly. There are set days for each room, for example Mondays are my lounge days, Tuesdays are for my office. I concentrate on a room, do all my chores, then stop - so I'm not overwhelmed with all the cleaning that needs to be done. The routine also helps with keeping the whole house tidy - no room gets a chance to get overly untidy. 


Keeping Momentum With Your Routine, Despite Blips | My phone helps me stay on track every day.
I wouldn't be without my phone - it helps me stay on track.


Admittedly sometimes I ignore the reminders. Usually at a weekend. But I know they're there and it 
encourages me to tidy up when I can so the chores don't pile up.

Having a reminder of the chores you need to do is an efficient way to keep momentum with your routine. Especially if it pops up every time you look at your phone. It's like a nagging little voice that never lets you settle. And while nagging is annoying - it works doesn't it?


Know nothing is set in stone

No matter how many days you keep momentum with your routine you're always going to suffer blips. Holidays from school, or an unexpected visitor can pop in and your routine takes a hit - but that's okay. YOU are in control of your routine and you can always switch things around if necessary. 

The key is taking control, no matter how many blips you encounter you can always get back on track. Keep going with the routine, even if it's just the essentials like loading the dishwasher because you have no clean dishes! 


Keep momentum with your self-care routine too!

Despite blips to your chores routine you need to take care of yourself too. When we fall ill we realise we've been neglecting ourselves. I've done this so many times - I finally realised taking some time for myself meant I was ill less often. 



Self-care is really about taking care of you and focusing on feeling good about yourself - mind and body.

Franchesca Ramsey



I read, have time alone (while the boys are at school), and I spend time doing things I enjoy - like playing video games. I have down time. As a result I am more relaxed about everything else. I don't stress about the dishes, don't worry about the laundry. I follow my routine and I have time for me too - win!



Keeping Momentum With Your Routine, Despite Blips | Your routine keeps you going, you just need to know how.


Please make sure to allow time for yourself when you're working out your routine - it's just as important!


Do you manage to keep momentum with your routine?

10 things to do during half-term

After a long summer the October half-term can whizz by before you know it and the kids are back at school before you've had a chance to think about something to do. You haven't left the house all half-term and you're feeling guilty. But with a little planning, both you and your children can have as much fun during half-term as you did during the summer.



Chester Zoo


A couple of years ago we visited Chester Zoo during the summer holidays. On the day it poured with rain but it didn't make much difference to our day. We took coats and an umbrella with us and wandered around the zoo just like we would've if it had been sunny. The best thing about the trip was that the rainy weather put other visitors off so there were more opportunities to see the animals. Chester Zoo even have an indoor picnic area so you can still take a picnic with you without worrying about the weather. Win!


10 Things To Do During Half-Term | Visit Chester Zoo to see the tigers.
I love seeing the tigers - they're so majestic.


Chester Zoo is open from 10am until 5pm every day apart from Christmas Day and Boxing Day. During half-term the entry prices go up a little - for a family of four (children aged 3-15) with all day monorail passes (adult: £3.50, child: £2.50) it costs £83.80. This may sound like a lot of money but it is so worth it, your family will have a wonderful day at Chester Zoo and you'll give your children the chance to see tigers, leopards, and rhinos!





An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language.

Martin Buber




Hardwick Hall


Hardwick Old Hall is managed by English Heritage and I would highly recommend the audio tour when visiting. You learn so much about the history of the building and Bess of Hardwick and your children may even enjoy wandering around such an old building. When we visited the boys had a great time and they still talk about it now. Being able to walk around the Old Hall while listening to someone talk about the history is a much more practical way of learning and it works wonders on the children!


10 Things To Do During Half-Term | Visit Hardwick Old Hall and learn about history.


You can also visit the New Hall which is run by the National Trust. We have yet to visit the New Hall but I've heard great things about it. 

For a family ticket (2 adults, 3 children) to visit Hardwick Old Hall it costs £15.60 and for a family ticket to visit Hardwick Hall and walk around the house and gardens it costs £32.75.



Calke Abbey


Calke Abbey is a home trapped in time. It's filled with historical artefacts and walking around the house is both interesting and strange - from grand halls to spooky corridors Calke Abbey has it all. Visiting the Abbey in the colder months is fine because it's mostly indoors but if you're looking for some outdoor fun Calke Explore is there for the children. Calke Explore has log trails, rope walks, and climbing areas to keep the children entertained.


10 Things To Do During Half-Term | Visit Calke Abbey and venture into the woods.


For a family ticket to visit the whole property at Calke Abbey costs £31.90.



Nottingham Contemporary


If you're into art I'd recommend Nottingham Contemporary, there's always activities for the children to enjoy and you get to see lots of art. Visiting Nottingham Contemporary would probably take up a morning, so you don't need to plan for a whole day, and best of all entry is FREE.



Blackpool


We love Blackpool. While it's quite far away the boys love travelling for the day and walking along the beach or going in the arcades. Visiting Blackpool can be as cheap or as expensive as you like - you can visit the Sealife Centre, Blackpool Tower, or Madame Tussauds or nothing at all and spend the day on the beach. Not to mention all the seafront stores filled with candy floss!

All I would say is prepare for the cold. If you're used to being inland (Midlands) then going to the coast during the colder months might come as a shock. It can get very cold during autumn/winter so make sure you take scarves, gloves, and a warm coat.



The Heights of Abraham, Matlock


10 Things To Do During Half-Term | The Heights of Abraham are a great place to visit with your kids.


Amazing views, caves to wander through, a town filled with shops. If you're based in the Midlands it's a great place to visit and won't necessarily take up the whole day. Be sure to visit the caves in Matlock, they're not to be missed. There's also a restaurant if you're hungry, and don't forget to check out the Punch and Judy show.



Picnics


The weather might not be great but you can still enjoy a picnic, you just need to make sure you prepare for the wetter, colder weather. Perhaps take a small tent so you can all sit inside and eat your food, fill a flask with hot chocolate, and wrap up warm with coats and scarves. Oh yes, and don't forget to take a board game so you can have fun despite the weather.



Visit a local restaurant


10 Things To Do During Half-Term | Get out and enjoy a good meal at your favourite restaurant.


As a treat during the half-term why not take your children to a restaurant? In Nottingham there are so many to choose from and it really depends what kind of food you're after. If you'd like to try something new you could try Thaikhun or if you want something different check out Barburrito



Trick or Treating


Of course during the half-term you need to prepare for Halloween. Costumes can be a pain, especially for boys, but it's all part of the fun. Decorate your home with pumpkins, cobwebs, and skeletons, and make sure you have lots of sweets in the house ready for other little monsters who come a'knocking.





When black cats prowl and pumpkins gleam, may luck be yours on Halloween.


Unknown




Movie Night


For the October half-term why not have a scary movie night? Movies like Goosebumps, Ghostbusters, or even The Witches are great for a Halloween themed movie night. Snuggle up together beneath a blanket, with popcorn and spooky treats at the ready, and enjoy a brilliant movie night as a family.


10 Things To Do During Half-Term | Enjoy a movie night in the house.


Whether you're an active family or prefer to spend time at home there's always something to do during half-term.


What are your 10 things to do during half-term?